How Our Spending Habits Have Changed

Friday, January 22nd, 2010 By

Just the Basics

I know that my spending habits have changed in the last couple of years. Yours likely have too. This change is the result of job cuts, lower pay and the overall financial downturn. We all need the economy to recover and getting out there and spending some money would certainly help turn things around, but few people can afford to do that at this point. We are basically just spending money on the essentials these days, and even that spending has changed somewhat.

Where is Money being Spent?

According to a recent article on the U.S.News site, market research is showing some definite trends in how and where Americans are spending their hard earned money. One noticeable shift is in the amount of debt that most of us are willing to carry at this point. Before the recession people were more likely to buy on credit and to spend money on large items that were not essential. Nowadays consumers are sticking much more to the basics and trying to pay in cash as much as possible, sometimes taking short term loans when necessary.

Thinking Outside the Box

Tough times often inspire more creativity. People do not want to completely give up the pleasures in life. Dinners out with friends, family trips, fancy coffees and home renovations are all things that can be altered to fit a more frugal lifestyle. Organizing rotating potluck dinners at friends’ houses can replace dinners out. Camping or visiting local attractions can substitute for larger family trips. Buying some quality coffee beans, a grinder and a milk frother will allow you to create specialty coffee at home each morning. Doing basic home updates yourself such as painting, can really save money.

Labels No Longer Matter

There was a time when name brand products were king. This way of thinking has all but disappeared in recent years. Particularly when it comes to food items, many people have turned to no name and store brand products instead of the pricier name brands. There are many great-quality products in this category, some of which are even made in the same factories, right alongside the name brand products. Many consumers are finding that saving a few cents on each item really adds up and, with the quality being surprisingly good, they will continue to buy the lesser known brands in the future.

Removing the Temptation

Another finding is that consumers are spending far less time casually browsing stores. They now tend to go to the stores only when there is something they truly need. On the same note, if there is a larger item you need, such as furniture or appliances you can often find used ones for a lot less online or in the classified section of your newspaper. Conversely, if you have items that you no longer need you can make some extra cash by selling them off and you will be de-cluttering your house at the same time.

A Little Extra Help

We are all doing what we can to save money and get by from one payday to the next. Unfortunately, sometimes unexpected costs arise before payday. In these instances you may want to consider a payday or installment loan. Both are quick and easy to apply for online and can offer you a way to get through the rough patch.

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